This study builds on parallel structural equation modeling (SEM) and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to explore how formal and informal marketing controls affect firm performance by enhancing a firm's market-focused learning capability. The SEM results reveal that formal controls have a direct impact on market-focused learning capability and, thereby, firm performance, while informal controls strengthen this positive impact. Furthermore, results from fsQCA suggest that all configurations associated with high market-focused learning and/or high firm performance reflect high informal controls. Taken together, these results imply that informal controls serve as “hygiene factors” that are necessary but not sufficient to generate market-focused learning capability or firm performance. Finally, a firm's business strategy (i.e., cost leadership, differentiation or a dual strategy) is found to moderate the effectiveness of marketing controls: firms with a dual strategy benefit more from informal controls, while those with a clear strategy reap more benefits from formal controls.
- 512 Business and Management
- Marketing controls
- Market-focused learning capability
- Structural equation modeling
- Configuration analysis
- Marketing Effectiveness and Profitability